Saturday, March 23, 2013

Granola Stuffed Baked Apples

Spring is here...which in NY means that its still cold and there is about a foot of snow on the ground from our March snowstorm, but I am not letting that get me down instead I am creating things that make me happy like these awesome granola stuffed baked apples!  I shop at a local co-op and I consider myself very lucky to be able to do this because my co-op has a "culled produce" section.  I never knew what this was, and if your store has one then check this area out.  This is a, reduced price produce area for all the produce that is on its last legs or expired.  Its a treasure trove for the home cook, I always run to this section (yes I run) and take whatever I can find.  This week it was filled with huge bags of locally grown, organic Granny Smith apples, about 6 lbs of them and they cost me 2$ for the lot (apples are on the dirty dozen list so I always buy them organic, here is a link if you don't know who the dirty dozen are:  

So now armed with an enormous amount of apples I had some decisions to make. I can juice these, or...I can make baked apples!!  Obviously I chose the latter and you guys are lucky I did because they were insanely delicious and now you can make them yourselves! My version of baked apples are stuffed with granola, nuts and raisins and they are like an inside out apple pie that you can feel good about eating.  They ended up being vegan which was an unintended plus and can totally be made with organic butter if you feel so inclined!  The stuffing is everything you want it to be; salty, sweet, crunchy and less carbs than a traditional pie crust.  These can be eaten as a dessert, breakfast or midnight snack.  They also freeze really well and can be made ahead, baked and then frozen for a later date when you have company and don't want to spend all day in the kitchen; won't your guests be wowed when you bring these out warm, oozing and topped with ice cream or a maple glaze (pictured here).  I would also like to add that these are toddler friendly, my two year old gobbled them down without a word (for those of you with picky eaters you know what a win this is).

This recipe makes 8 servings

Print this recipe


8 local, organic apples (I would chose apples that are good for baking Granny Smith, McIntosh)

For the filling

1/2 Cup of your favorite granola, I used a locally made one that had oatmeal clusters and almonds.

1/4 Cup organic, raw, fair trade cane sugar. 

1 Tbsp organic cinnamon

1/4 Cup additional nuts, chopped finely, I used slivered almonds and locally made, maple salted pecans.

Pinch of sea salt, a big pinch if your nuts aren't salted.

1/4 Cup organic, sulphur-free raisins

3 Tbsp of Earth Balance, you can substitute softened butter, the same amount.

For the maple glaze

1/2 Cup fair trade, organic confectioner's sugar, sifted.

3 Tbsp local, organic maple syrup

1 Tbsp of almond milk, I use Silk, any milk or water can be substituted.


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash your apples, remove the core about 1/2 an inch above the bottom of the apple with a pairing knife or apple corer.  I did not have an apple corer so I cut around the stem with a pairing knife and then scraped out the seeds and core with a grapefruit spoon (a regular spoon would work fine as well).  You will want your holes to be about an inch wide (this will fit about 3 Tbsp of filling). 

In a small bowl combine the granola, sugar, cinnamon, nuts, salt, raisins and butter.  With your hands work the butter into the mixture until it resembles wet sand.  Stuff the mixture into the apples packing it down to ensure maximum amount of filling (I wanted a good filling to apple ratio, I am the person who thinks the crust is sometimes more delicious than the fruit). Place the apples in a baking pan, I like to always use glass baking dishes I feel it distributes the heat better. Fill the pan with boiling water, halfway up the apples.

Bake 40-60 mins, the baking time will vary depending on the size of your apples and how fresh they are.  Older apples are softer and cook faster mine were very, very ripe; they even had some soft spots so they didn't cook as long.  You will want the skin to look wrinkled and for a butter knife to pierce the flesh easily.  Tender, but not mushy. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

While your apples cool; in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, maple syrup and almond milk.  Mix until combined and smooth.

I like to serve my apples still warm, I cut them in half on a beautiful plate and drizzle with glaze, that way you are sure to get glaze on every single bite. 

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 
― Michael PollanIn Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

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